We’re in an election year, here in the United States, and opinions are hot.
It feels like more than ever, both voters and candidates have been feisty … and vocal! One of the places this comes out strongly is social media. A quick glance through your Facebook news or your twitter feed, and you’re sure to know which side of the political line many of your friends stand.
A lot of people have a problem with that. Many are discouraged, disgruntled, even depressed by what they read in their news feeds.
But me? I’m encouraged by it.
Sounds unusual, doesn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong. Like you, I don’t care for the rash statements, the spiteful bashing, and the scorn that many people voice. It makes me sick, actually.
But when I live out James 1:19, especially during a political debate, when I am “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry,” there is a whole other side to the real time commentary that encourages me.
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)
I appreciate the perspectives offered from both sides. Varying opinions challenge me to evaluate what I think, feel, and believe. Sometimes a tweet or comment will point out something I hadn’t thought of yet, or provides a new perspective I hadn’t considered.
Those opinions do more than challenge my own thinking, though; they help me to develop empathy. These emotionally charged messages show me what my friends are passionate about. For many of them, it reveals a little bit of their story and where they or someone they love has been hurt.
There are stories attached to these convictions, stories representing real people! If I can peer behind the positions, I learn the stories and better understand the people. That in turn helps me put love into action and care better.
But most of all, the reason I am encouraged by reading the twitter feed during these debates is because it means you are thinking! We are thinking!
We are not just going to the polls and blindly voting. We’re not accepting something because that is what we’ve always done or because that is how our parents voted. We are considering, evaluating, engaging — how great is that?!
Let’s make sure, though, that we don’t stop there.
Yes, keep dialoguing, engaging, and even debating. Let’s do it in a way that shows respect for one anther and brings glory to God.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29)
But take it a step further. We must now go and vote!
We shouldn’t just express our opinions, now we need to do something about it!
Do you know that in the 2008 presidential election, only 64% of voting-age citizens voted? The percentage of Christians who vote is even more dismal.
That is a travesty!
What an incredible privlege, what a gift we have to be able to cast our vote! Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but we have a say in who leads our country. Men and women have died, are dying, to ensure that right!
Don’t take it for granted. Don’t neglect it.
Go out and vote.
Question for You:
How about you: how have you been affected by social media during the debates? Are you heading to the polls on November 6?
ps…Let’s keep the comments respectful, please. Write in love, Sisters! ;)
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